KINGSTON – It’s a question of hi-rise versus heritage.
At 15 stories — the proposed Capitol condo is almost double what the Official Plan allows in the downtown.
After more than a year of community debate, it’s time for councillors to make a decision.
This councillor predicts a close vote….
but says he will represent his constituents by voting against the hi-rise.
Peter Stroud/City Councillor:
“I think it strengthens our position as a council if we say no. I think it also empowers the downtown residents that have been all speaking with one voice. All of the downtown councillors are planning to vote against this — all of them, 100% of them.”
But suburban councillors, many of whom favour downtown intensification, may vote otherwise.
Councillor Stroud says he also supports intensification — but thinks it can be achieved through smaller-scale developments.
“Respecting the height limit that’s in the official plan. I think that we can get a viable development at the site. We may need to get another one nearby to get the same impact as we would with a 16 storey building.”
The mayor and downtown BIA support a condo atop the former movie theatre — saying it will be built closer to the Queen Street side of the property … giving local businesses more customers.
There’s another element to this controversy.
Councillor Adam Candon, a local real estate agent, hasn’t announced whether he’ll take part in the discussion and vote.
He’s is seeking legal advice on whether he may have a conflict of interest.
But if he does take part, Candon says he’ll vote in favour of the project by IN8 Developments … saying the modern design won’t detract from the area’s heritage character.
The outcome of this vote could set a precedent for future hi-rise developments in the downtown core.
Heather Senoran CKWS Newswatch, Kingston.